Show more

Hoping I can get in on some of the programming for this year's "NY Hot Jazz Camp." It's a virtual event but at least some of the workshops are limited to 15 participants. I have no idea what the demand might be like, especially for banjo.

I found about the pre-pandemic version of the event a couple of years ago and it looked amazing, but the fee was something like $900 per participant and you were on your own for lodging in NYC for like 3 days, and while nothing would compare to being able to hobnob and form organic connections with fellow musicians in person, I'm grateful for the opportunity to participate more affordably from afar.

I'm curious to see what happens with events like this after they're able to shift back to IRL mode; why not keep including a virtual participation tier, especially for tech events that have already been doing A/V recordings of presentations for years?

We used to have Luther Severance, Mel Bay, and Jeremy Faith. Now we have no severance, no bay, and no faith!

...when you think about these grotesque guitars, obviously!

TFW you're looking for an extremely out-of-print piece of sheet music and you find a single original copy for sale online for $37...

...and the seller's images are high-res enough to be perfectly readable 😈

I mean, It would be neat to have the original artifact but what I'm really after is the data that's printed on it

good morning! i just listened to the Ahmad Jamal recording of Crazy She Calls Me for the first time. Actually my first time listening all the way through the Poinciana album - perfect if you're having a gray day like we are here.

Just encountered a next-level phishing strategy while looking for sheet music for an old tune: a search engine honeypot that goes to a fake forum thread with a discussion like

OP: "I found [song]! Here it is! <link to sketchy file-sharing service>

Person 1: "Dude it's asking for my credit card, that seems scammy"

OP: "Yeah I know I thought so too but I put in my CC and it's fine"

Person 2: "It worked for me too! Thanks so much I've been looking for this forever"

Person 1: "ok cool just wanted to make sure it was legit, thanks man!"

The Mel Bay :mb: system uses the I, IV, and V7 chord of any given major scale to harmonize it (i, iv, V7 for minor scales) but doesn't really explain how it derives those chords.

This 10 minute video by Tomasso Zillio handily explains how that works.

The Mel Bay system also has exercises for harmonizing a melody with a specific chord in mind (which is how I've been tinkering with St. James Infirmary, since the I've got already has chords) so between those two approaches, all of your bases are covered.

(As for how to harmonize an accidental, or non-chord tone, the instructions are literally "Pick the closest chord inversion you can find and raise or lower the 4th string note to match the note")

It seems simple enough now that I've gotten it through my skull... if I had been able to take another lesson or two with Cynthia Sayer a few summers back, she probably would have covered this.

Show thread

Losing my catering business due to pronouncing those raw vegetable platters “crud-ites” in front of the clients

...considering those crazy gleaming guitars, and suchlike!

I've been applying the basic "Melody Chord Playing System" principals to St. James Infirmary, and it feels like maybe I'm unlocking some next-level stuff.

It's a long road to:

1. Memorizing chord spellings
2. Being able to sight-read a lead sheet and map the melody notes to the right chord, and the right shape for that chord
3. Getting a sense of common patterns in terms of picking the best/nearest shape to start with for non-chordal tones
4. Doing that all smoothly at speed

...but I've got that sense of having gotten past a conceptual hurdle.

Eddie Peabody's :ep: instructional record has some basic chord melody material and he mentions keeping the melody note on the 4th string, but doesn't get into how exactly you work those chords out; the Mel Bay :mb: book fills that in.

Show thread

That humdinger of a photo of Mel Bay :mb: reminded me of this amazing photo of my granduncle (left) who I only met a handful of times, seen here with a bandmate. I never heard him play; I'm not sure I even knew he played banjo until after he died.

Show thread

also are there any other musicians on here who post nerd shit I have no idea how to find content

It's banjoist (and multi-instrumentalist,) music instruction publishing giant, and dashing young man Mel Bay :mb:

Show thread

Follow-up on the Mel Bay :mb: "Plectrum Banjo Melody Chord Playing System" book, which I think is pretty much the only "how to play chord melody on " book currently in print:

It's a good book if you're familiar with basic standard notation and know a little bit of theory, and have a general understanding of the *concept* of 'chord melody'.

It's frightfully terse in terms of instruction. I think it was probably written with the assumption that anyone reading it would have a teacher guiding them through.

And, there's not really a lot to instruct when it comes down to it; the titular "Melody Chord Playing System" itself is actually pretty simple. The bulk of the book walks you through the same concept applied to all twelve keys, gradually getting more complex rhythmically.

But yeah, not a book I'd recommend to a complete newbie.

I did a double-take when I looked at the last page and saw a January 2021 print date. Not quite on demand (printed a about a week before I ordered it) but probably "print in artisinal batches because we only sell 5 copies of it per year." The quality is as good as any other Mel Bay book I've bought over the years.

Show thread

I guess I'm the last person on earth to find out about , it's pretty cool; it would be very easy to overuse it, but I think it could also be really useful as a tool for fooling around with making soundscapes from melodies.

Here's a recording "Tiger Jig" (an 1868 tune) slowed down 800%


...although the more I read and learn, the reason that there aren't more published collections of chord melodies is that anyone who puts in the work to learn the fundamentals (which includes being able to sight-read lead sheets, and having the fingerboard and corresponding chords memorized) you probably don't need banjo-specific notation.

In general it's a different discipline and approach than folk banjo styles, and that difference is probably what I've been hung up on.

I'm reminded of the frustrating 2-3 weeks between 13-year old me getting my first electric guitar for Christmas and taking my first lesson from my stoner rock dude teacher who did house calls; my dad took me to Kurlan Music Center (RIP) and we asked for a recommendation for a beginning guitar book and the chucklehead behind the counter sold us a copy of Frederick Noad's "Solo Guitar Playing" which I'm sure is a fine resource for learning classical guitar with the help of a teacher, but a terrible book to give a kid who just wants to learn how to play like Ace Frehley

Show thread

I hate the "may be too late" feeling when it comes to making a musical contact; there's an old-guard player who has had arrangements and instructional materials for sale in the past, but their domain seems to have lapsed and searching for contact info mostly turns up "has anyone been able to get hold of him" posts for the last year or two. He's in his 80s now, so nobody would fault him for putting the online hustle aside, but in purely selfish terms I would like to have gotten hold of his extensive collection of arrangements.

Anybody got any plans for "Palindrome Day" ?

12022021 ?

Show more

The Hon. Mayor of Banjotown's choices:


The social network of the future: No ads, no corporate surveillance, ethical design, and decentralization! Own your data with Mastodon!